Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Album: obZen
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release: March 11th, 2008

A big wet arterial spray by the name of obZen has saturated records stores worldwide. Though the first 8 seconds may fool you into believing you accidentally picked up a Tool album, the crazy people will soon begin raving, and they won’t stop for another 52 minutes. The Swedish war machine’s signature creation - complex rhythm cycles tightly held within 4/4 timing - has become even more intricate, concocted with the precision of a nihilistic scientist (or is it scientific nihilist… I can never get these things straight). Track 3, Bleed, shows the band rearing its decapitated head with inventive perfection: they create an all encompassing swarm of tone that sounds like the tightening and loosening of a guitar string in perfect pitch.

Masterfully recorded at their own Fear and Loathing Studio in Stockholm, Sweden, the production is impeccable. Dick Lövgren’s bass guitar on the beginning of Lethargica is perhaps one of the loudest and most authentic bass sounds ever recorded. The only limit to which Meshuggah seems capable of succumbing is in their guitar solos, which sometimes seem to stumble forward whereas everything else does a mine-field dance. Compared with past albums, obZen is the obvious next step for Meshuggah; a bit more melodic (Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström’s 8 string guitars are doing them justice), incredibly aggressive, and staggeringly complex. With Tomas Haake’s jarring but somehow coherent downbeats, obZen is another feat of musicianship that retains its listenability. Meshuggah have again made progress through their surgical experiments on music’s anatomy, and may I add, without remorse.

1 comment:

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